Treatable Infections Cause 1 in 6 Cancers
HPV, hepatitis B vaccines key part of cancer prevention
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2012 3:47 AM CDT
Updated May 12, 2012 12:59 PM CDT
A doctor holds the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardiasil in his hand at his Chicago office.    (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – A sixth of all cancers worldwide are the result of potentially treatable or preventable infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, according to a new study. Researchers found that that almost 2 million new cancer cases in 2008 were caused by the human papilloma virus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, and that the proportion of cancers caused by infection was three times higher in developing countries, reports the Guardian. A fifth of the 7.5 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2008 were caused by infection-related cancers, the study found.

The research shows that vaccines for HPV and hepatitis B should be a priority for health care systems, notes an editorial accompanying the Lancet study. The HPV vaccination program is gaining momentum, but only very slowly, because "it’s hard to get teenagers in for all three doses," and "because HPV is sexually transmitted, it’s evoked a whole bunch of hullaballoo over whether the vaccine promotes promiscuity," the chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center tells ABC. Greater progress has been made with the hepatitis B vaccination program, he says, so the occurrence of liver cancer should be "dropping precipitously" over the next 20 years.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Ick
May 13, 2012 12:08 AM CDT
The real unfortunate fact is that cancer is built within our own DNA. One small mishap in our genetic transcription; one cell that loses all regulatory function.... becomes cancer. There are many genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that increase and reduce our susceptibility and probability of having cancerous cells, but honestly... there isn't very much that WONT give you or lead to cancer these days. The best bet is to eat healthy (fresh) foods, exercise, and do all you can to keep your body running optimally.
Dr.Gonzo
May 12, 2012 1:22 PM CDT
They sure do like pushing vaccines on us lesser-thans. I wonder what's really in them?
Tscare
May 10, 2012 1:17 AM CDT
No innocent soul deserves to die by cancer,it's worse than you think The pain caused by cancer is sooo severe that even cocaine medication ( Morphine) Won't stop the pain I know this from a person who went through it first hand! Easily enough,people should improve their life styles and diets,and stay away from all the pollution and dirt How would they be able to get cancer then?